york swirls

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Healthcare System Needs Fixed

Grandpa & Grandma Cooper at Christmas

I spent three days last week  in the hospital with my mother-in-law.  While I was sitting there, I started adding up how much time I've spent in the hospital over the past year, starting with when Ryan was born.  I've spent 24 days in the hospital, and I haven't been sick a day!  I'm beginning to feel at home there.  I have 2 pairs of exercise pants that I usually wear to the hospital when I know I'm going to be there for the long-haul.  They're comfortable.  I can be in any position with them, unlike a skirt.  I can sleep in them.  Now they are known as my "hospital pants."  It's pretty bad when you have clothes specifically designated for hospital wear.

Since coming home from the hospital, I've spent quite a bit of time getting my mother-in-law's medical care and prescriptions organized.  I called the pharmacy yesterday about one of her medications.  She is paying $42 for 90-days of this medication, while I pay $10 for the same thing for Heather.  I asked if Walgreens has a program like Walmart where you can get that prescription for $10.  They said they have a similar program, but, by law, they can't offer it to people on a government program like Medicare.  What?!  Do you see anything wrong with this law?

That reminds me of my first eye appointment after we closed down our trucking company.  While we had the trucks, we had union insurance.  Now being both the employer and the employee, we know what all those benefits cost the employer to provide for the employee.  It was costing us over $400 per employee each week to provide those benefits to our employees.  It was a little scary to give up that health insurance, but it was certainly a huge relief to not have to pay such outrageous premiums.  We decided to join Samaritan Ministries which is a group of Christians that share their medical expenses each month.  When we go to the doctor, we tell them we don't have insurance because it is not an insurance company, just a sharing ministry.  While I had union insurance, my bill at the ophthalmologist  was usually applied to my deductible.  I ended up paying the full amount in the end.  Those visits would cost me $160.  After I didn't have insurance, they charged me the self-pay rate...$40!!!!!

Now wait a minute, my mother-in-law pays 4 times as much for her prescription because she has insurance.  I paid 4 times as much for my office visit because I had insurance.  We have a problem!!!

I recently took Kara to a pediatric dermatologist.  Their usual office visit is $259.   Since I was self-pay, I paid $73.  Once again, the office visit would have cost me 3 1/2 times as much if I'd had insurance.

Now that we don't have insurance, we are free to choose our own doctors.  We don't need a referral!  (Did you know it's your insurance that requires a referral?)  We switched to our little small town optometrist this year from one in Lafayette.  It doesn't matter anymore that he isn't on our list of providers.  We can choose our own!  Dr. Reed is the friendliest, most down-to-earth man.  He gives us a family discount.  He has a rate chart based on their age.  We're so glad we were able to make this change.

While my mother-in-law was in the hospital, they had her drinking some nasty stuff for contrast so they could do a CT scan of her abdomen.  It made her sick, and she vomitted it up after a while.  She has a partial upper plate, and she vomitted so forcefully that she spit out her teeth.  The nurse flushed them down the toilet.  Now I'm dealing with the hospital trying to get them to pay for her teeth to be replaced.  When I talked to the lady there yesterday, I told her our family felt that the hospital should pay more than half of the cost as is their policy.  She said it was an accident.  It wasn't their fault.  So whose fault is it?  I told her, "Yes, ma'am.  It is the nurse's fault."  If we are in a car accident, whoever the policeman deems "at fault" pays the repair bill on the other's car.  Even if it's an old beater, the insurance company pays to put new parts on it to fix it.  If we put a baseball through our neighbor's window, we pay to fix the window.  We don't split the cost half and half.  It's somebody's "fault."  That  nurse should have checked that before she dumped it.  My mother-in-law was losing blood and that should have been checked.  Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions anymore....accident or not.  So now the fight begins...

I'm finished venting...for the moment....almost.  It makes me sick to see how much the government has invaded every area of our lives and how many freedoms are slowly being taken away from us, often without most people even realizing it.  Step back and look at your life.  We can't choose our own doctors.  We can't put in a new well or add onto our house without a permit from the government.  We can't tear down an old shed without a demolition permit from the government.  Even though we own the property, we can't build our new shed on the outside 10 feet of our property.  The doctor's office asks if we wear a seatbelt or have guns in our homes.  These are just a few of examples from my own life.  I can't bear to think of what my grandchildren will face in their lifetime.

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